Finnish company Nokia is currently the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer. The company has produced mobiles since the mid-1980s and is now exclusively a telecom company. Nokia has been at the forefront of mobile tech for over 20 years and its innovations have helped to shape the course of the industry.
Reasons to choose Nokia:
As one of the longest standing producers of mobile phones, Nokia has considerable expertise in the design and manufacturing of mobile devices. This expertise has earned Nokia a well-deserved reputation for creating both budget and premium products of excellent quality.
Nokia produces a wide range of traditional feature phones that are popular for their ease of use and attractive designs. With the increasing popularity of advanced touchscreen phones in recent years, Nokia has also developed ranges of smartphones. Nokia has produced a number of smartphones using the Symbian operating system, though recently it has moved its focus away from this OS in favour of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.
Until recently, Symbian was Nokia’s operating system of choice for its top-end smartphones and the company continues to produce and support phones using this OS. Numerous different versions of Symbian have been released, with the most recent being Symbian^3 which was released in 2010.
Symbian^3 has received two updates since its launch, known as ‘Anna’ and ‘Belle’, and is the operating system employed by Nokia’s latest batch of Symbian smartphones. This software was designed to compete with other modern smartphone operating systems like Google’s Android or Apple’s iOS. Symbian^3 features a wide range of improvements over its predecessors including advanced graphics processing, support for HDMI video output, a touchscreen-optimised user interface and customisable home screens.
At the beginning of 2011, Nokia announced a partnership with Microsoft that led to adoption by Nokia of Windows Phone as its primary smartphone OS. The first Nokia smartphones using the Windows Phone OS, the Nokia Lumia 800 and Lumia 710, were released in the last quarter of 2011.
Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 offers a number of advantages to Nokia. The operating system was designed from the ground up to be a modern smartphone OS. It features a number of innovations such as the unique and intuitive user interface with its colourful Hubs and Tiles. In return, Nokia’s expertise in hardware design and manufacturing brings the best out of Microsoft’s mobile operating system.
Nokia offers a range of online services to its phone and smartphone customers under their ‘Ovi’ brand. These services range from the extensive ‘Ovi Store’ for Symbian phones, which features downloadable games and apps, to turn-by-turn navigation services provided through ‘Ovi Maps’. Other notable Ovi services include Ovi Mail, an email service accessed from Nokia phones, and the Ovi Music Store which features over 11 million purchasable music tracks.
Following the 2011 partnership with Microsoft, changes are expected to Nokia’s Ovi services. At present it is expected that the Ovi Store and other services will to continue to be available on Symbian smartphones, but will not be present under the Ovi brand on Windows Phone handsets. Instead, Nokia’s Ovi brand will be merged into the Windows Phone platform, providing a wide choice of applications and services.
Nokia has produced a number of mobiles with the ‘Comes With Music’ branding. By securing partnerships with a number of high profile music publishers including EMI, Warner Music Group and Sony Music, Nokia offered ‘Comes With Music’ phones which included unlimited free music downloads for up to 24 months. In 2010 this service was rebranded as ‘Ovi Music Unlimited’. Tracks downloaded through Nokia’s unlimited music service can be kept for life by customers after their contract is completed.
At the beginning of 2011 it was announced that Nokia’s unlimited music service would be withdrawn in the UK and a number of other markets. Though mobile phones with this feature are still available, this is expected to be phased out through 2012.